Cats from all across the country descend on Auckland for this weekend's WHISKAS National Cat Show.
This established event to be held at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama is an opportunity for cat lovers throughout the country to showcase their 'best' cats.
On show will be some of the world's rarest and most interesting looking felines in the country. These include the Maine Coone, a breed recently introduced to New Zealand which is strong, tranquil and luxurious. The famous Sphynx, which looks hairless, but is actually covered in short, silky hair with"suede" like feel.
The event will also feature the Norwegian Forest cat, known to be reserved with strangers and protective of its territory, while at the same time being a gentle and affectionate household cat; Japanese Bobtail which is social and inquisitive and the Bengal which is still considered a rare breed worldwide with its distinctive thick and luxurious coat. Also one to watch will be the Selkirk Rex, this patiently tolerant cat is the latest breed of Rex, appearing in 1987.
Peter Hanley, WHISKAS National Cat Show Secretary says there has been a fantastic response from cat breeders and owners this year.
"We have received a huge number of entries and the two-day event will be highly competitive and loads of fun for everyone."
One hundred and sixty eight cats have been submitted from the greater Auckland area, 222 from the rest of the North Island and 95 from the South Island. Each exhibitor has entered anywhere from one to seven cats in total.
The cats will be assessed by a group of international judges coming from as far as Canada, Holland, France, Israel and Australia and New Zealand. The twelve judges have years of experience in both the breeding and judging of cats. Aline Noel Garel from Quebec, Canada for example introduced the Sphynx breed to Europe and started her judging career in 1977.
Janine Chamley, Masterfoods' Marketing Manager - Petcare (NZ), says as official sponsor, WHISKAS is delighted to be involved in this national event. "WHISKAS is about celebrating cat ownership, so it's a natural fit for us to be involved in this national event.
"This annual event is a fantastic opportunity for the general public to view New Zealand's top show cats across a wide range of breeds," Chamley added.
The theme for the event this year is Pasifika. There will be dancers dressed as Pasifika themed cats performing throughout the two days mingling with the public, cat entrants and judges.
The WHISKAS National Cat Show is taking place Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6 at the ASB Stadium in Kohimarama.
The event is open to the public from 9:30am to 5.00pm both days.
Entrance fee is $8.00 per person (over 12 years), but entrance is free for one child per adult.